As the men’s and women’s tennis teams played their final head-to-head matches of the season, the squads will branch off into separate directions.

The women, who dropped a 3-5 decision to SUNY Geneseo on Oct. 7, will be heading to Ithaca, N.Y. for the first day of the New York State Championships today. The tournament continues through the weekend.

The men, on the other hand, are finished until the spring season starts up in late February. They ended their season with a decisive 9-0 victory over crosstown rival St. John Fisher College

For the women’s team, this weekend’s opponents will include a number of familiar faces, such as Nazareth College, SUNY Brockport, Rochester Institute of Technology and Geneseo each of whom the ‘Jackets have played and, with the exception of Geneseo, beaten this fall, making their 3-1 in these games.

The loss against the Blue Knights of Geneseo was the first of the season for the ‘Jackets in head-to-head competition.

Sophomore Lia Weiner and freshman Alexandra Goodman both posted wins in singles and doubles competition, but Geneseo swept the remaining match-ups to go on to win.
After teaming up to beat Geneseo, 9-7, in No. 1 doubles, Weiner and Goodman defeated their respective opponents at No. 1 and No. 2 singles in straight sets.

Sophomore Elana Polivy, freshman Jamie Bow and senior Melinda Beckmann each dropped tightly contested singles sets to the Knights at the No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6 spots, respectively.

The No. 4 match-up was called off due to darkness, with freshman Danielle Shreck a mere point away from taking the match.

At the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles positions, UR was no match for Geneseo. Polivy and Beckmann lost, 8-4, at the second spot, and Bow and sophomore Nishi Javeri dropped their match to the Knights, 8-2, in the third position.

Last spring, UR defeated Geneseo, 7-2, in head-to-head competition.

The men closed out its season on a high note last Thursday night with a dominating performance over the Cardinals of St. John Fisher.

The men’s team has turned in a number of quality performances this fall including impressive victories at the St. Lawrence University Invitational and at their own Flower City Tournament in September but none quite as dominating as their win against the Cardinals.

Each of the six singles positions blew by its Fisher opponents in straight sets.

At the No. 1 spot, sophomore Ryan Kovaleski was dominant as always, powering past his Fisher foe, 6-1, 6-2.

Kovaleski paired up with junior Brian Bowman who easily took care of his single’s opponent as well to win at the No. 1 doubles position, 8-2.

The duo has been strong all year, winning the ‘A” Doubles Bracket of the St. Lawrence Invite and helping the ‘Jackets to beat Ithaca College in the first round of the Flower City Tournament.

At the No. 5 and No. 6 singles positions, freshmen Brian Schmeer and Alex Magill beat out their respective opponents by scores of 6-2, 6-0 and 6-4, 6-1, respectively.

The freshmen have consistently started in the lineup this fall and will be key to the development of the tennis program in the spring and in years to come.

Schmeer also teamed up sophomore Bennett Peterson at the No. 2 doubles position to beat Fisher, 8-4.

With so much youth on the men’s team, it is impressive how successful it has been thus far. The true test will be in the spring, however, when it will compete in the University Athletic Association, which promises much more athletic competition.

For both teams, the fall season has been effective in bolstering its confidence and providing experience under first-year head coach Matt Nielsen.

The women’s team finishes the fall with a record of 3-1 in head-to-head matches, while the men finish at 4-1. After the State Championships, the women are on a hiatus until February. The men’s schedule in the spring is still undetermined.

Hilfinger is a member of the class of 2010.

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